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All posts tagged Camp Nou

FC Barcelona has presented its proposal for a new Espai Barça, which aims to provide the biggest and best sports facility that the world has ever seen in a city centre.

The New Palau Blaugrana was presented at the 1899 Auditorium, where the President of FC Barcelona Josep Maria Bartomeu spoke about the innovative project.

The current Palau is famous for its nights of glory and great comebacks, and so the Club President was quick to assure that the new stadium will maintain its terrific atmosphere.

The President said that “it is designed to remain a cauldron”, which is a prominent characteristic felt by both players and fans alike in the current court. He also stated his delight with the final design as being “a global renovation project and improvement of the FC Barcelona facilities”.

The New Palau will be “unique, innovative and an architectural jewel” which will hold everything necessary “to help us complete our objective of becoming the biggest sporting club in the world”.

This is a project that will benefit all of the club’s teams, said the President, “in order to maintain and improve their positions of excellence and their sporting successes”.

Bartomeu also confirmed his pride in the construction of the project, saying that “we are building the Espai Barça with transparency and looking after the environment, for persons with reduced mobility and for the benefit of our immediate surroundings”.

Daring but sensible

Director of the Espai Barça commission Jordi Moix also lended his thoughts on the project:

We want to make the New Palau daringly, but also sensibly and with common sense. The first thing we ask is that the atmosphere of the current Palau is maintained.

In addition, Moix stated that, given that the New Palau is being built on the site of the current Miniestadi both the New Miniestadi and the New Palau are overlapping projects

Therefore, until the New Miniestadi is built, work will not begin on the New Palau, which is scheduled for 2017. He also said that selling the naming rights of the stadium could fund the project.

Capacity and atmosphere of the New Palau

The mass social interest in professional sports is high. Therefore, Moix believes “we have the sufficient facilities to cover around 10,000 seats”.

However, the New Palau is designed to be flexible. Through retractable seating, it can reach a capacity of 12,000 spectators.

To maintain its famous atmosphere of the current Palau, Gascón from TAC Arquitectes, assured that they will work hard on the proximity of the fans and the acoustic effect.

John Rhodes from HOK Architecture, on his part, said:

We will create an arena with energy that provides a unique experience for European fans.

Winning bid

The bid by HOK + TAC Arquitectes is remarkably innovative with its concept of a multi-functional Palau, and is also outstanding for its permeability, flexibility and personality. With organic geometry, it offers a fine sequence between the Palau, annex court, ice rink and the FCB Escola facilities. The winning team is currently working together with the Barça technical teams and the Barcelona City Council to make further specifications and work further on the integration of the new installations with the rest of the Espai Barça and the city.

HOK Architecture is one of the most important firms in the United States in terms of architecture and engineering, with experience of all kinds of projects, all around the world. HOK developed the American Airlines Arena in Miami, the Nationwide Arena in Ohio and the Stockton Arena in California. The team also has the experience of being the architects behind the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

Locally, Eduard Gascón of TAC Arquitectes leads a solid team with extensive experience of the development of all kinds of projects in Barcelona, such as the award winning Parc del Turó de Can Mates, the Technology Centre in Manresa and different office buildings in Barcelona.

The HOK + TAC Arquitectes bid overcame fellow bids from Pattern Architects + Massip-Bosch Arquitectes, GMP + GCA Arquitectes, Make + BCQ Arquitectes, Francisco Mangado Arquitectos + Bach Arquitectes + R. Sanabria Arquitectes + I. Paricio and Wilkinson Eyre Architects + Alonso Balaguer Riera Arquitectes.

Camp Nou’s renovation ratified by club’s members

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A 600m euro ($827m) project to renovate Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium has been given the green light by the club’s members after a referendum on Saturday, which delivered more than 72% of the votes in favour of the project.

 

“More than two thirds of the members have voted ‘yes’ to the project of a new stadium and I want to thank all the members who have exercised their right to vote,” said Club President, Josep Maria Bartomeu. He continued: “We have proposed this project thinking about the future and the next-generation of Barcelona fans.”

 

The plans for the new stadium and surrounding areas include putting a roof on Europe’s largest football stadium and increasing its capacity from 99,000 to 105,000. In addition to building a new multi-purpose indoor arena, a new stadium for the Barca B team, as well as office and parking facilities.

 

Part of the funding for the project will come from a stadium naming rights title right that will see a commercial sponsor’s name added to ‘Camp Nou’.

 

The Club insist that supporters will be able to enjoy a significantly more comfortable matchday experience than is possible in the nearly 60-year-old stadium and they are no doubt hoping that a drastic improvement to their hospitality services will create even greater income for the world’s second richest club.

 

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Barcelona stadium and arena upgrade referendum set for April

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Barcelona FC is to put a stadium (105,000) and arena (10,000) upgrade plan to a member referendum on 5 or 6 April. As previously in its history, the club has chosen to build new facilities on the current site. President Sandro Rosell explained:

The option of building a new stadium on a new site has been dismissed as the final cost could well mortgage the Club’s future…This was a difficult decision. Both projects were very attractive, but our commitment was to submit to a referendum projects which were viable from a technical, urban planning and economic standpoint.

The project has some similarities to a previous Foster+Partners design and is broadly along the lines proposed by Presidential candidate Agusti Benedito at Stadia & Arena 2013 in Istanbul. The club has been working with ISG, AEG, ICON Venue Group and Ryder Levett Bucknall.

This new Camp Nou would include three main areas: the Camp Nou itself, a new Palau Blaugrana for 10,000 spectators and the Espai Barça (Barça Space), which would involve buildings for different purposes integrated into the district. The restructuring would mean moving the new Miniestadi to the Ciutat Esportiva training ground, which would seat between 6,000 and 7,000 people.

As well as a reconfigured spectator bowl, there will be a new ring of boxes and restaurants overlooking the pitch, along with ‘superboxes’ and other VIP services between the first and second tiers.. The quality of the VIP services will be vastly improved both in terms of quantity and quality (3,500 new seats would create a total of 5,700 luxury seats).

Board member Javier Faus explained that the redevelopment would generate an extra £24m of revenue per season and that the cost of the redevelopment (600m Euros) would be repaid within eight years.

The stadium walkways and corridors will also be changed. There will be a perimeter ring to make passage between different zones smoother, and will also enable improvements to the range of culinary items on offer, as well as better cleaning services and public conveniences. Escalators and lifts will be used to reach the third tier, and the current structure will be vastly more streamlined, and will receive much more daylight.

If the referendum on April 5 or 6 gives the project the go-ahead, then the work on the new Camp Nou would begin in May 2017, depending on the eventual plans and municipal permits, and take almost four years, with much of the work being done during the close-season, finalising in February 2021

Barcelona’s once in a century decision over venues

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Agusti Benedito told delegates to the Stadia & Arena conference in Istanbul that his candidacy for President of the Barcelona club was intimately bound up with venue development. It is not a straightforward contest between spending and not spending money. Talking about the basketball, handball and volleyball, he said:

Barca obviously deserves an arena similar to an O2 London. There is no excuse not to have a new arena. The current board of directors has pledged this. If I become President, Palau Blaugrana arena will take centre stage.

Benedito believes any decision made about the Camp Nou stadium is illegitimate unless the 170,000 socis (owners/club members) cast their vote. Which makes the next presidential election the right time to get a mandate for a properly researched and costed development plan. So that the stadium debate and vote can take place soon, Benedito says that the club’s regulations allow for an election before the current President’s term runs out in 2016.

The regular Barca fan, like me, says he or she desires the best possible stadium but is flexible on the economic situation. That’s why we need to be sure and to get the fans’ opinions.

The Camp Nou has to be improved but not at any cost.

Barcelona’s large complex, which currently houses Camp Nou, Palau Blaugrana (blue red, the colours of Barcelona) and the Mini Estadi, offers the opportunity to develop a masterplan to introduce new sporting and non-sporting elements such as restaurants, museum and hotel. There appear to be opportunities for commercial partnerships to finance renovation of the sporting facilities.

Benedito is clear that a new arena, with its smaller investment requirement, should be built now. He believes the socis agree. On the stadium, there are still the two options of remodelling and rebuilding and Benedito, on balance, thinks remodelling is preferable. He is also clear that:

It will be up to the socis to decide the future of the stadium, the most important decision in 50 years.

 

Agusti Benedito (left) addresses delegates at the Stadia & Arena conference on the topic of the Barcelona club's venue development plans.

Agusti Benedito (left) addresses delegates at the Stadia & Arena conference on the topic of the Barcelona club’s venue development plans.